many performances in the Great Room of the Grosvenor
House. Last year we did a run of four for an
American client, and we installed the PA....they were
As Dirk and I stood behind the star-cloth waiting to go
on, we said: "That PA sounds awful!"
Dirk explained it was all sub-bass....the room had
satellite speakers flown from the ceiling and sub bass
speakers behind the stage. As a result, none of
the sound that we would really want was hitting the
dance floor...and frankly we thought it sounded
atrocious. We went down reasonably well and the
dance floor was packed for most of the 70 minute set,
but it was not a very satisfying performance. On the
plus side, the hospitality was excellent and we did get
the chance to chew the fat with Tracy.
10th March 06
It is really
difficult to describe the dread that we feel when we
have to venture down towards that London on a Friday
afternoon. With a sound check scheduled for 6pm,
we have to set off at 11am to be sure of making
it. Today is wet...very wet...pissy pissy wet, and
the M6 looks more like a canal than the most insanely
busy road in the UK. In spite of it all though,
the traffic keeps moving, and our progress is actually
better than on a 'normal' Friday. Even after a
leisurely stop at Corley Services, we manage to arrive
as Ade & Dave are loading in, so there is plenty of
time to change strings on 3 of the guitars and fix a
broken snare drum.
It's a really nice little theatre on the 3rd floor,
quite intimate and good acoustically. Roys
concerns over the stability of the drum riser are seen
to and we have a really decent sound check, trying out
old tunes like Come Together.
We get a warm reception from the sell out crowd (well
apart form 5 spare seats), and chat to some of the
audience in the bar after the show.
A 40 minute wait in the Kentucky across the road, was
not what we wanted before setting off home, but we were
all hungry and needed something to sustain us on the
11th March 06
Wales Theatre, Cannock.
attendance at this new venue for us.
Nothing particularly remarkable about this performance,
apart from a remarkable "Long Tall Sally" and
a particularly remarkable "Here Comes The
Sun". The latter of which was remarkable in a
particularly bad way... but I'll get over it.
As we got home...it started snowing. Now there's
2 videos uploaded to YouTube
23rd March 06
Winding Wheel, Chesterfield.
visit to the dentist this morning, I was faced with an
entirely new experience; shaving with one half of my
face numb. I'm not sure I liked it!
The journey across the Pennines takes 3 of us two and
half hours, thanks to plenty of traffic around
Stockport. The journey, however, is full of
wonderful things to look at. That old classic,
Stockport Viaduct and the wonderful Ferrodo Brake Lining
Factory at Chaple-le-Frith, being just two "must
sees" for any vistor to these Isles.
Derek had come the longer but quicker way on the
motorway and had already settled himself in a cubicle
when we arrived.
The acoustic properties of The Winding Wheel are less
than ideal and the hollow stage was causing a lot of
bass to surround us. Ade did the best he could to combat
the problems, with there was still a lot of swirling at
the sound check.
Once the audience was in, the problem was less noticeable,
and we put on a good show. To see Dirk and myself
in the dressing room at half-time, you'd never know that
we had just gone down very well, we looked like the
condemned men. We realised this, and
laughed. Sometimes it's just like that.
Roy nearly lost his 'tache in the second half, after I rejoiced
in hitting the sweet spot on the Revolution intro.
Roy was tickled and had to play one handed, whilst
gripping his muzzy with the other.
24th March 06
Arts Centre, York.
spending the night in the Sheffield Days Inn with Ade
& Dave, the other three of us make the slow journey across
the M62 to Pocklington.
The Arts Centre is an acoustically superb little venue
with a seriously bad get-in. Having a coffee
machine in the dressing room is a very good idea, but I
can't say that I was particularly impressed with Milky
We all enjoyed this gig I think, we played well and it
sounded great in this room.
25th March 06
Arts Centre, Pershore.
apparently sold out a few months ago. We had
received a great response here last year so it was a
welcome return for us.
Everyone is now bringing their own food on the road
rather than pay the stupidly high prices in Mway
services for the unhealthy shit they sell. Before
too long I can see us sitting in lay-bys with a tartan
rug and wicker picnic hamper. "Another glass
of Chardonnay Eddie?"
After another well received show, we set off down the M5
and stopped off to get some hot food. Eddie in
particular is getting fed up of sarnies. Camp for
the night was at Chievely Services on the M4/A34
junction. The room Roy and I shared, smelt like a
dog kennel. It had to be one of the mustiest rooms
we have ever had. I complained to Roy that my bed
felt quite damp as we settled down with our late night
fag, café creme and individual sachet of coffee.
I was about to find out that Travelodge have been
criticised for using duvets filled with synthetic
materials which actually retain "body
moisture", and do not dry out quickly. What a
gorgeous thought!....Every time you sleep in a
Travelodge, you are sleeping in someone elses sweat!
26th March 06
No point in
setting off for Windsor too early, parking is difficult
and expensive, so we slump around the services for a
couple of hours. No one seems put out by the fact
that we have lost an hour with clocks going forward
...in fact it's a relief.
A short sound check which included "I'll Cry
Instead" was all that we needed.
After the first half, there was quite a bit of despondency
in the air. We didn't feel we were going down very
well and put it down to the performance being a bit limp
because we were playing a bit too nicely. The
on-stage volume was a bit polite and lacked balls, so we
went out for the second half determined to put a bit of
umph into it. At least we felt better about
We drove home without stopping.
Oh God...I nearly forgot.....Roy just reminded me!
We were playing Paperback Writer, and I heard that the
snare drum was off. I figured it was broken, so
was screaming to Dave in the wings to get the spare
out. What actually happened was this.....
Roy had forgotten we were doing Paperback, and was
halfway up the stairs to get changed when he head it
introduced. He legged it back to the stage, in
just enough time to hit the first beat, but not in quite
enough time to flick the snare back on. The three
of us had started the a capella bit to the song,
oblivious to the fact that we had no drummer behind
us. We didn't find out till after the show.
30th March 06
Andrews Bay Hotel, St. Andrews.
Dave and Ade: "The Fuji Finepix E550 digital camera
is quite a nice piece of kit". They own one
of these cameras, and so do I. They have been
responsible for most of the pictures on this blog for
the last 10 months. On this trip up to St.Andrews,
we were accompanied by neither Dave, Ade or a Fuji
Finepix. The first two were otherwise engaged at
Pontins, Ainsdale and the later, was run over by a Land
Rover on Wednesday and is consequently fucked!
With the PA being provided up in Scotland, it is a
convoy of 2 cars which transports the band, a drumkit
and a couple of AC30's up the M6 to golfers
paradise. It's windows open most of the way along
the A91, as Dirks lunch makes a most unwelcome
re-appearance in the form of toxic vapors. With
the "Arse Canary" driving the other vehicle,
it is altogether safer to leave a two inch gap in the
window. We both agree, there has been nothing like this
since I hit the Guinness back in 04.
At first sight the St. Andrews Bay Hotel looks a little
like the Overlook from The Shining. Even the
"Atrium" where we will be playing, looks as
perfect for a scene for Mr. Torrence to do some
typing. It's a quick sound check and then a look
for somewhere to spend the next 5 hours while we wait
for our performance time. Derek found a couch and
Eddie hid himself under a table to try and get some
Our hour performance was reasonably well received with
the dance floor well subscribed.
For the journey home, the GPS system couldn't seem to
make its mind up which way to take us, eventually
settling for a route which would take us over the Forth
Road Bridge. The famous rail bridge next to it
looked especially eerie in the fog with the sounds of
Ravi Shankar coming over the car stereo. We never
tire of such sights! Unfortunately, we made the
classic mistake coming off the bridge. Getting in
the wrong lane, we ended up on the Edinburgh ring road.
At this point we switched the GPS off and relied on the
best navigation method of all...the good old £2.99
map....never fails!. This was a long day.